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Merrill E Demas


Flew on the low level Ploesti mission aboard tarfu as a tail gunner, came home with shrapnel in his back from this mission. He was a waist gunner early on then a tail gunner for the remaining missions.
Flew with these pilots:
Roper (4 missions) on Yardbird, Exterminator
Cowart (2) on Thar She Blows
Hurd (9) on Tarfu, Queenie
Sedevic (2) on Valient Virgin
Kemp (8) on God Bless Our Ship



  • William Cowart

    Military | Major | Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
    March 8, 1943 'Thar She Blows' B-24 41-23658 crashlanded at Gibraltar Farms in Kent. The plane was returning from a mission to Rouen, France with battle damage. Major Cowart returned all crew members with Bombardier Dick injured.

  • Earl Hurd

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot / Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 329th BS, 92rd BG, 8th AF. TDY 9th AF. Flew as pilot of B-24D 41-23810 'Tarfu', on 1-Aug-43 Ploesti oil refinery raid, returning safely to Libya. ...

  • John Kemp

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 328BS, 93BG, 8AF USAAF. Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator (serial number 41-24259). The aircraft developed gas leak shortly after Tidal Wave takeoff and returned to base. ETD ...

  • Hugh Roper

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 1 Aug 1943 while on TDY to 9thAF for Ploesti raid in B-24D 'Exterminator' 41-23717

  • Richard Sedivec

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 329BS, 93BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) from Bremen bombing mission in B-24 42-40765 'Valient Virgin 13-Nov-43; collided with another aircraft, (the Joisey Bounce B-24 41-24226) which had been shot up, missing a wing, and was...

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Units served with

  • 93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 1-March-1942 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. On 15-May-1942 the Group moved to Ft. Myers, Florida to continue advanced flight training and also to fly anti-submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico; they...

  • 329th Bomb Squadron


  • 41-23810 'Tarfu'

    B-24 Liberator
    Flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid, returned safely to Libya. ...

  • 41-23658 Thar She Blows

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24D 42-23658 was assigned to the 93rd Bomb Group 329th Bomb Squadron ar Alconbury, UK. The aircraft, piloted by Maj William Cowert, sustained battle damage on a mission to Rouen, France on 8-Mar-43 and made a crash landing at Gibralter Farm,...


  • VIII Bomber Command 41

    8 March 1943
    The railroad marshalling yards at Rennes and Rouen, France are the primary targets for this mission. A formation comprised of 67 B-17s: 91BG (14); 303BG (19); 305BG (16) and 306BG (18) is despatched to bomb at Rennes. Conditions are good with no cloud...

  • Operation Tidal Wave

    1 August 1943
    Operation TIDAL WAVE. B24D Liberators attack the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. The bombers flew low to avoid radar detection and dropped time delayed bombs. Out of the 177 B-24s that took part in the raid 167 managed to attack their targets. 57 B...


Event Location Date
Born South Barre, Vermont 11 May 1917
Died South Barre, Barre, VT, USA 4 April 2005


Date Contributor Update
12 January 2019 04:24:11 demasb Changes to aircraft associations and mission associations

Personal family history and records

Date Contributor Update
07 June 2017 17:06:54 demasb Changes to biography and events

Mission specifics from various sources, research and family documents.

Date Contributor Update
07 June 2017 16:54:42 demasb Changes to person associations and media associations

From our family collection

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:06 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Ploesti by Dugan & Stewart